La Granada – In an atypical democratic practice, the West Bank elects municipal councils

Ramallah. Palestinians voted on Saturday to elect representatives to municipal councils in the occupied West Bank in a rare democratic exercise after a decade and a half delays in Palestinian elections.

This is the second phase of the municipal elections after the first round of voting in December in 154 villages in the West Bank. The turnout was 52.8 percent, according to the Central Elections Committee.

Saturday’s elections were held in 50 locations, with elections held without opposition or without candidates in some cases due to a boycott of the Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

The armed group, which also did not participate in the 2017 municipal elections, said it is ready to compete in these elections if the Palestinian Authority also organizes presidential and legislative elections.

In April 2021, President Mahmoud Abbas, whose term expired in 2009, postponed these two elections indefinitely, stressing that their celebration is not guaranteed in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian part of the city annexed by Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas again, during the vote in Al-Bireh, defended his decision to cancel the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for last year, saying that they should be held in “all Palestinian territories.”

More than 715,000 voters were invited to the polls.

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